Debian Weekly News - January 31st, 2006

Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Martin Michlmayr reported about two development MIPS boards donated to Debian that will be used as build daemon for the MIPS architectures. Stephen Shankland interviewed FSF attorney Eben Moglen on the GNU GPL version 3 draft which lead to discussions on the Debian lists.

Call for Papers. Margarita Manterola called for papers for the upcoming Debian Day which will take place on Saturday, May 13th, before this year's DebConf in Oaxtepec, Mexico. The presentations should be easy to understand, very clear and concise in their content, and not require any previous knowledge about Debian from the audience.

Process to remove debmake. Santiago Vila reported about the demise of debmake. One year ago, the use of debmake for new packages was deprecated and the included program deb-make removed. The next steps are switching away from this tool and eventually opening release-critical bug reports against remaining packages. Anthony Towns suggested filing wishlist bugs now with a proper usertag.

More volunteer Contributions. Joseph Michael Smidt stated that all people want to feel important when they're making a contribution to Debian. He would like to see an official title for all contributors so they become a visible part of the community, especially since the new maintainer process could be seen as a barrier. The following discussion demonstrated several means to get involved.

New Semantic of /var/run. Peter Eisentraut forwarded a user request to create a directory within /var/run upon service startup. Henrique Holschuh suggested to go ahead since initscripts are leaning towards an ephemeral /var/run that will be removed upon reboot.

Debian Archive Key Maintenance. Petter Reinholdtsen noticed problems upgrading etch due to a missing new archive key. Joey Hess pondered whether this could result in a stable Debian release being uninstallable. Distributing updated keys in a security update would break past policies concerning stable releases and users won't be able to install the current stable release without the update.

Launchpad for Debian? Frans Jessop asked if it would be helpful, more organised, and efficient if Debian developers would work with launchpad. Matthew Garrett pointed out that the general use is unlikely as long as it is not Free Software. Andrew Suffield added that removing the ability to manage things from the shell doesn't improve efficiency.

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

New or Noteworthy Packages. Due to being down because of performance issues we are unable to provide the regular list of new packages.

Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 197 orphaned packages. Many thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list, and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you plan to take over a package.

Removed Packages. 4 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Christine Spang and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.